Renewable Energy Fair at Milford High School
UtSEA NEWS - Monday April 20, 2009 Milford, located in Beaver County Utah, was the site for a Renewable Energy fair where Milford Valley was designated as one of Utah's Renewable Energy Zones by a legislative joint resolution. Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. supported and acknowledged this historic occasion at the first renewable energy fair at Milford High School.
The Utah Renewable Energy Zone (UREZ) task force invited members of the Utah Solar Energy Association to attend and support the State’s legislative body in its plan to increase the expansion of renewable technology on a commercial scale. Utah Solar Energy Association's (UtSEA) new executive director Levi Belnap and board members Orrin Farnsworth, David Smith and Joan Somerville represented the Utah Solar Energy Association to help establish key relationships with the local and regional educational institutions to help promote an integrated approach to proper training and education of solar PV and Thermal technologies.
The event was hosted by Milford high School which is located in an open scenic valley in Beaver County and has a population around 6,500. An estimated 600 people - adults and students – attended the event that featured Huntsman as the keynote speaker, an electric car race, alternative energy focused exhibitors and demonstrations on the uses of alternative energy. A concluding panel discussion addressed the economics of renewable energy sources and was held in the Milford High school auditorium where classes were rotated in and out to accommodate the students and the local population who showed great interest in witnessing the ceremonial signing of Senate legislation.
Governor Huntsman signed the ceremonial bill for Senate Bills 188. this Bill provides development incentives for alternative energy projects and power production for areas located in remote areas near Bullfrog resort on lake Powell, these areas are not serviced by grid power and the Senate Bill creates the avenue for Utah Generated Renewable Energy and an Electricity Network Authority.
Representatives of the Governor's Utah Renewable Energy Zone Task Force - comprised of 20 appointed members from utilities; renewable energy generation developers; environmental organizations; federal, state and local government representatives; and energy advocate representatives took the opportunity to see firsthand the enthusiasm of the students and faculty members in demonstrating alternative energy technology as well as touring wind, geothermal and solar sites in the regional area.
The purpose of the task force is to promote the development of renewable energy resources to meet Utah's goal to have 20 percent of Utah's electricity needs produced by renewable sources by 2025. Milford's current and potential role in achieving this goal inspired the event.
Southwest Applied Technology College (SWATC) plays an important role in providing guidance and resources to the Milford high school's renewable training program. UtSEA plans to meet with the SWATC which hosts a 20,000-square-foot facility, located in Southern Utah and discuss the future plans and possible collaboration with UtSEA in developing a state wide education plan for Solar PV and Thermal. SWATC will provide training for the rapid growing green energy industry; help to establish practical applications for homeowners and potential research opportunities in and around the Southern Utah region.